Poultry processing plants use a significant amount of water, so wastewater management is an important part of the operation. Large facilities can generate a million gallons of wastewater that contains debris from the processed birds. That’s why local, state and federal regulations require facilities to properly treat the wastewater before they discharge it.
Because of this serious responsibility, personnel at a major U.S. chicken production facility in Millsboro, Delaware, have been relying on Sensaphone remote monitoring systems for nearly 20 years. The company, the sixth largest chicken producer in the country, has facilities in five states and serves national and international markets.
Remote Monitoring and Early Warning
Prevention and early detection are critical for keeping wastewater facilities operating smoothly. With over 40 years of experience in instrumentation and process controls, no one knows this better than Ray Horney, CEO of Horney Industrial Electronics.
“If a pump fails and no one notices, other equipment can get damaged, and the untreated water can be released into the facility and the surrounding environment,” Ray said. “Getting an alert from the system as early as possible can save a lot of time and money in clean-up costs and production downtime.”
Ray initially installed Sensaphone 800 autodialers at the Millsboro facility, but recently upgraded to Sentinel cloud-based remote monitoring systems. The Sentinel systems provide more functionality and are easy to access through a mobile device.
The facility is now operating 30 Sentinel units and will likely add more upon completion of their wastewater treatment system renovation. Because landline access is limited, the facility uses Sentinel cellular devices.
The Sentinel units are located on every pivot for irrigation and throughout the wastewater and processing plants. One Sentinel unit can monitor up to 12 different environmental and equipment status conditions, including tank levels, power outage, flow rates, pump status, turbidity and temperature.
About 20 employees use the Sentinel to keep an eye on the entire operation. They receive alerts if sensor readings fall outside of the preset parameters, and they can access the information through their desktop or the mobile app.
“They can keep track of everything from their phone,” Ray said. “It’s an easy way to check on conditions, whether they are onsite or off. And if there’s a possible problem, they can address it right away.”
The Sentinel system is equipped with data acquisition capabilities that automatically provide real-time and historical operating information on pump performance. This lets employees collect and record precise data, including flow rates, run times and all the operational principals involved in pump monitoring. Because the system automates the recordkeeping, employees can easily generate accurate information required for regulatory reports.
Even the contractors working on the wastewater treatment renovation at the facility are using the data pulled from the Sentinel system to monitor flow levels. This information lets them know how much wastewater needs to be treated and helps them design the upgrades.
“The Sentinel system is affordable and user-friendly,” Ray added. “I recommend it to any business or municipality that needs to monitor pump conditions, tank levels and flow rates at a water treatment facility.”